The National Republican Senatorial Committee has released a low-fi web-based platformer game to help win the senate back. Nintendo has just announced a major revamp of the 3DS console with plenty of nice additions but exclusive and no longer backward compatible games. The company has also announced laying off 320 employees in Europe. Lastly, another gaming lawsuit rears its head, targeting Valve’s Steam refunding policy in Australia. Here is the gaming news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for Aug, 29, 2014.
US Republican party launches its own game
Games have long been recognized as a valid means of communicating important ideas and messages. With their growing acceptance and popularity it was only a matter of time before they mixed with the world of politics. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has just released a browser-based old-school platformer 2014 Mission Majority, which features a cartoony elephant hopping around and squashing enemies to help the party “win back the Senate.” Jumping on the evil “Taxers” triggers a variety of sound clips such as outtakes from president Obama’s speeches. The game is extremely simplistic in its design and graphics, being little more than a vehicle for the party’s messages attempting to appeal to the gamer demographic. On the upside, its lackluster quality is at least fairly amusing.
New overhauled Nintendo 3Ds coming
Nintendo has just unveiled a brand new iteration of their popular handheld gaming console, both in standard and XL formats. The new Nintendo 3DS will feature an improved CPU, additional analog stick above the four buttons on right, an extra set of shoulder buttons, improved 3D screen functionality, a Near Field Technology for interacting with the Amiibo figurines, and a number of other tweaks. The new improvements feel more like a full overhaul of the console rather than just a cosmetic upgrade, especially since the new CPU means some games will not be backwards compatible. Nintendo has already announced Xenoblade Chronicles will work only on the new console. As great as the new tech is, it is also setting up a mass of confusion between which version can play what games. Not to mention there already is an existing division with the old 2DS not supporting the newer 3D titles. The Hope from consumers is that Nintendo decides to revise the name of the handled before its launch.
Nintendo laying off 320 workers in Europe
In related news, a sizable chunk of Nintendo’s employees are being let go. Over half of the number comes from the European localization department alone, starting with German workers at the end of this month. Nintendo has been struggling with the sales of their current-gen console for a long time now, and even high-profile releases such as Mario Kart 8 were not able to bring the numbers up enough to offset the losses. The upcoming Super Smash Bros., Hyrule Warriors, Amiibo figures as well as the revamped 3DS should hopefully prop Nintendo up, but it seems the efforts come too late for many of their workers. What is most disheartening is that the company chief Satoru Iwata stated last year they were against lay-offs. Either Nintendo revised their policy significantly, or the internal situation really is this bad.
Valve under fire in Australia over its refund policy
Just recently Guardian Liberty Voice has been remarking about the prevalence of gaming lawsuits in recent years. Today, another legal battle is cropping but, but of a different variety. Australian consumer rights group has sued Valve, the owner of the biggest digital game store Steam, over the refund policy, or rather, the lack thereof. According to Australian laws any business providing goods must allow the return of them in some cases, something that Steam flat-out does not allow. Doug Lombardi, one of the key figures at Valve, already responded explaining they are working closely with the Australian officials in order to resolve this matter.
Gaming New Digest From Guardian Liberty Voice Commentary by Jakub Kasztalski
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